'Corporate dumping' blamed for overflowing needle disposal bins
An overflowing sharps bin in Windsor, Ont. (Courtesy City of Windsor)
Windsor mayor Drew Dilkens says the city is experiencing an issue with what he's calling "corporate dumping" of needles in disposal bins.
The sharps bins are praised as a deterrent for improperly discarding needles in the regular trash or on the ground, but city officials say businesses are abusing the city's public needle bins for illegal dumping.
Dilkens says it's likely saving the businesses money on the disposal of the needles.
“They're responsible to have a proper collection service come and pick up their needles,” says Dilkens. “But we're finding that some are trying to save money, cut some corners and dump their needles into our bins and taxpayers are paying for that.”
Community development and health services commissioner Jelena Payne says they are looking into the situation and have found proof of illegal dumping.
She says workers are frequently finding acupuncture needles and other sharps mixed in the overflowing city bins.
Both Payne and Dilkens say the city will try to mitigate the situation.
“It's inappropriate and we'll certainly take bylaw action if we find it happening," says Dilkens.
Dilkens also believes the so-called corporate dumping is inflating the city's needle disposal numbers, noting it's not fully indicative of the level of drug use in the community.
In seven months, about 44,000 needles were collected in the city’s nine bins.
City council approved the installation of five more needle disposal bins at council on Monday night.
Payne says they plan on reviewing security cameras in the areas, but anyone with information can call 311 or the PwC Hotline (report abuse and misuse of taxpayer dollars) at (519) 254-9357.